Hi, I’m Fathimah, a year 12 student at King Edward VI Handsworth Grammar school.
The opportunity to be part of the ‘Medic Mentor Leadership Programme’ has been very beneficial in my journey in, hopefully, becoming a medical student and doctor. I have attended two of the meetings so far, the first in February 2020 and then the recent COVID-19 innovation programme. In February, the ethics and current affairs discussions were incredibly useful in easing us into the basics of the ethical pillars of medicine, however, it also involved a task where we had to present in front of everyone. This seemed nerve racking at the time but retrospectively, presenting with confidence is an important part of leadership and it really allowed us to hone into the skills needed to be a strong leader and thus it allowed me to evaluate and improve my current skill set. Insights into how to set up a medical society at school were also incredibly useful in learning the structure of a medical society and how to plan lessons. Although I couldn’t set up my own society in school, the lessons gained from the teaching sessions were very transferable, helping me to become and execute the role of the ‘Medic Mentor Virtual Medical Society’ Publicity Officer, in terms of organization, content planning, time management and managing different logistics. I was also able to refine my leadership skills as a hospital volunteer and in organizing a ‘Children in Need’ fundraiser as my form’s charity prefect. Such skills required to be a leader and a team player and evident in the medical field when as part of a multidisciplinary team as, sometimes the most experience person on the team where you have to lead with confidence and cooperation, so this will continue to benefit me in the future as a doctor.
The second meeting I attended was the week-long COVID-19 innovation programme. Our group were assigned the scenario ‘COVID-19 treatments’ and we had to compile and present a poster. This helped me to connect with other fellow aspiring students as well as a facilitator who was a Medic Mentor scholar and full of expertise. This was very enjoyable and interesting, especially because Covid-19 is such a current, personal issue and therefore, I felt! I learned many skills during this process such as critical appraisal, debating and learning the specific way poster and abstracts are written in the scientific world, which usually only medical students are exposed to in the latter years of their course, mentioned by my facilitator Daniyal who compiled his first in the 3rd year of medical school so such an early introduction to this made me very grateful. This opened up many possibilities reminding us that there are so many options in medicine, research being one of them, making me very excited for the options I could delve into in future. Our group was also selected for best poster which was the icing on the cake of the already fantastic experience.
Furthermore, I have got involved with Medic Mentor in several other ways, to get the full experience. I first discovered Medic Mentor when I attended both days of the National Health Weekend ‘Get into medicine’ conferences, this was a turning point in my application. After this conference and a conversation with Dr Siva, my desire to pursue a career in medicine was no longer merely a consideration and I was equipped with to achieve a goal that was finally obtainable. Following the conference, I decided to enrol on the Awards Program and I am currently working on achieving my bronze, silver and gold award. Since then I have been volunteering with by campaigning for the COVID-19 mission with the Royal Benevolent Fund. I have campaigned on social media platforms, taken part in creating campaign videos, the ‘Great Virtual Bake off’ and more. I sucessfully applied as the VMS publicity officer where I post regular updates on upcoming VMS meetings and events, new blog posts and recent news. The most enjoyable part is networking with the Medsoc on the whatsapp group and during the meetings, the committee, scholars and mentors at Medic Mentor forming one big medic mentor family. It has kept me so busy during the lockdown, keeping me focussed on medicine and allowed me to further progress in becoming more time-effective, organised. It is helping me to overcome fears of presenting to hundreds of people, even though we can’t see them!
Therefore, this programme has enabled me to grow personally in many ways. I have gained more confidence, interpersonal skills and an overall greater insight into the world of medicine and I would highly recommend this to any aspring student. It is truly a pleasure to be part of the Medic Mentor family and I have no idea of how I would even approach getting into medicine without their support.
Written By Fathimah Saqib